Great thoughts and comments on yesterday's post and readings. Continue to think through and prayerfully reflect about what you read and post your comments. The best way to discern what God may be speaking to you through these passages is to examine the parts that seem to resonate with you as you read them.
1 Samuel 3-4 (NLT)
* 1 Samuel 3 is great passage for finding encouragement. Samuel is "in training" under Eli and is being raised up as a prophet; however, when the Lord is trying to talk to Samuel he keeps running into Eli to see if he is calling for him. It is good to know that even a great Biblical figure like Samuel didn't always have it together with discerning God's voice. I believe God speaks to us quite frequently throughout our days, but we have a hard time deciphering that voice from all the other noise around us. The second key in the 1 Samuel 3 passage to me was that once he learned to discern God's voice, he obeyed it. Samuel spoke the words the Lord had given him. He became wise in everything he said and was helpful to all the people of Israel. This is the byproduct of obedience and doing as God speaks to us.
1 Samuel 4 is a dramatic scene. Eli's two sons die, the great and mighty Ark of the Covenant is captured, the Israelites are defeated badly in their battle with the Philistines, and then Eli falls backward from his seat and breaks his neck and dies upon receiving the news of the lost battle and his dead sons. Then Eli's daughter-in-law goes into early labor from stress of the day and she dies. Talk about a bad day! This chapter is the fulfillment of God's decree that the house of Eli would suffer because of their wickedness. It is a sober reminder that God will fulfill His promises. That means the blessings He promises, but also the punishment He promises.
At this point in the story the stage is set for Samuel to become the most influential prophet, if not person, in Israel. Tomorrow we will read about what happens as the Philistines have the Ark of the Covenant. What things stood out to you today?